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NF on irrigation and food processing

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  • Harish Amur
    Greetings! I am new to this group and new to farming. I have selected Natural Farming as a goal, working towards it slowly. I am not completely in alignment
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 6, 2011
      Greetings!

      I am new to this group and new to farming. I have selected Natural Farming
      as a goal, working towards it slowly. I am not completely in alignment with
      Fukuoka San yet(don't know if I can ever achieve it!), but has been able to
      successfully grow a few crops without using any chemicals and any organic
      manure either. Since I am new to farming I have several questions. I have
      read only one book by Fukuoka - One straw revolution, a little while ago. I
      do not have that book with me right now. I have not been able to check the
      book before sending this email. Please pardon me!

      1. Is irrigation ok in natural farming: In my view, it should not be! Still,
      wish to know your opinion. Here is the reason why I ask this question. Our
      farm gets good rain fall. However that is limited to about 3-4 months. Some
      crops grow in winter, which do not need water. However we cannot grow
      vegetables etc in winter and summer. If NF does not approve of irrigation,
      then how to grow crops without water?

      2. How to process food? Harvested crops need processing, for e.g. winnowing
      of paddy seeds, extracting seeds from harvested matter etc. How does NF
      handle this? In our farm or in our village, this is done partly manually and
      partly using machines (which run on diesel). In some cases processing can
      be very harsh. For e.g. Safflower - this has thorns all over the body. It is
      harvested very early in the morning - say 4 a.m. when the plant thorns are
      softer - thus easy to handle. It has to be then thrashed using a tractor or
      some other means. The seeds then have to be collected from the pile and then
      cleaned off all soil residue, before extracting oil from them. Safflower
      have no other use, as far as we know! The oil is really good, so the pain is
      justified, I guess.

      I will be glad to know if anyone has experience managing mango trees
      naturally. I have some specific questions regarding the same. I am also
      interested in knowing use of equipment/machinery that can run on renewable
      energy such as solar or wind. Internet tells me that water can be pumped
      using a solar panels and a slow pump (sans batttery). I am yet to find a
      company that can provide me that.

      My village is in the malnad region of north karnataka, India.

      Regards,
      Harish Amur


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Nandan Palaparambil
      Hi Harish, From my limited experience/experiments and knowledge from Fukuoka san s books From the chapter of One straw revolution - Farming among the weeds -
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 7, 2011
        Hi Harish,

        From my limited experience/experiments and knowledge from Fukuoka san's books

        From the chapter of One straw revolution - Farming among the weeds - "In making the transition to this kind of farming, some weeding,composting or pruning may be necessary at first, but these measures should be gradually reduced each year. "

        This is true for watering also, once you build enough organic content in the soil, water holding capacity of soil increases considerably and watering may not be required..

        I have a raised bed with good mulching where I put a few tomato plants and they survive the summer (38-39 degree centigrade), but if I water may get more fruits. But I never thought that they will survive, the same is the case with cow pea plants. At the same time, I lost some banana plants because of heat, couldn't water them.

        I have some mango trees and they are left to nature's care. Some have good fruits and some loose fruits because of insects. People around apply hormones for flowering and insecticides for killing pests, so far I find it manageble.


        Regards,
        Nandan
        http://farming-experiments.blogspot.com/

        --- On Wed, 4/6/11, Harish Amur <harishamur@...> wrote:

        From: Harish Amur <harishamur@...>
        Subject: [fukuoka_farming] NF on irrigation and food processing
        To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 8:07 PM







         









        Greetings!



        I am new to this group and new to farming. I have selected Natural Farming

        as a goal, working towards it slowly. I am not completely in alignment with

        Fukuoka San yet(don't know if I can ever achieve it!), but has been able to

        successfully grow a few crops without using any chemicals and any organic

        manure either. Since I am new to farming I have several questions. I have

        read only one book by Fukuoka - One straw revolution, a little while ago. I

        do not have that book with me right now. I have not been able to check the

        book before sending this email. Please pardon me!



        1. Is irrigation ok in natural farming: In my view, it should not be! Still,

        wish to know your opinion. Here is the reason why I ask this question. Our

        farm gets good rain fall. However that is limited to about 3-4 months. Some

        crops grow in winter, which do not need water. However we cannot grow

        vegetables etc in winter and summer. If NF does not approve of irrigation,

        then how to grow crops without water?



        2. How to process food? Harvested crops need processing, for e.g. winnowing

        of paddy seeds, extracting seeds from harvested matter etc. How does NF

        handle this? In our farm or in our village, this is done partly manually and

        partly using machines (which run on diesel). In some cases processing can

        be very harsh. For e.g. Safflower - this has thorns all over the body. It is

        harvested very early in the morning - say 4 a.m. when the plant thorns are

        softer - thus easy to handle. It has to be then thrashed using a tractor or

        some other means. The seeds then have to be collected from the pile and then

        cleaned off all soil residue, before extracting oil from them. Safflower

        have no other use, as far as we know! The oil is really good, so the pain is

        justified, I guess.



        I will be glad to know if anyone has experience managing mango trees

        naturally. I have some specific questions regarding the same. I am also

        interested in knowing use of equipment/machinery that can run on renewable

        energy such as solar or wind. Internet tells me that water can be pumped

        using a solar panels and a slow pump (sans batttery). I am yet to find a

        company that can provide me that.



        My village is in the malnad region of north karnataka, India.



        Regards,

        Harish Amur



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Boovarahan Srinivasan
        Just my thoughts now! It is evident that plants need moisture and air than water alone. When there is enough thick layer of mulch available it protects the
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 7, 2011
          Just my thoughts now!

          It is evident that plants need moisture and air than water alone.
          When there is enough thick layer of mulch available it protects the
          soil moisture from drying up and the earthworms dig the soil under
          mulch cover which eases the air passage. And the plants take water
          vapor under humid conditions. Even in dry summer , you could have seen
          water condensing during nights to the soil . This water is arrested in
          the soil by mulch and prevented from vaporising thus making it
          available for the plants.
          This is just my understanding and I am not sure how far it is true.

          Boovarahan S

          On 4/7/11, Nandan Palaparambil <p_k_nandanan@...> wrote:
          > Hi Harish,
          >
          > From my limited experience/experiments and knowledge from Fukuoka san's
          > books
          >
          > From the chapter of One straw revolution - Farming among the weeds - "In
          > making the transition to this kind of farming, some weeding,composting or
          > pruning may be necessary at first, but these measures should be gradually
          > reduced each year. "
          >
          > This is true for watering also, once you build enough organic content in the
          > soil, water holding capacity of soil increases considerably and watering may
          > not be required..
          >
          > I have a raised bed with good mulching where I put a few tomato plants and
          > they survive the summer (38-39 degree centigrade), but if I water may get
          > more fruits. But I never thought that they will survive, the same is the
          > case with cow pea plants. At the same time, I lost some banana plants
          > because of heat, couldn't water them.
          >
          > I have some mango trees and they are left to nature's care. Some have good
          > fruits and some loose fruits because of insects. People around apply
          > hormones for flowering and insecticides for killing pests, so far I find it
          > manageble.
          >
          >
          > Regards,
          > Nandan
          > http://farming-experiments.blogspot.com/
          >
          > --- On Wed, 4/6/11, Harish Amur <harishamur@...> wrote:
          >
          > From: Harish Amur <harishamur@...>
          > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] NF on irrigation and food processing
          > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
          > Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 8:07 PM
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Greetings!
          >
          >
          >
          > I am new to this group and new to farming. I have selected Natural Farming
          >
          > as a goal, working towards it slowly. I am not completely in alignment with
          >
          > Fukuoka San yet(don't know if I can ever achieve it!), but has been able to
          >
          > successfully grow a few crops without using any chemicals and any organic
          >
          > manure either. Since I am new to farming I have several questions. I have
          >
          > read only one book by Fukuoka - One straw revolution, a little while ago. I
          >
          > do not have that book with me right now. I have not been able to check the
          >
          > book before sending this email. Please pardon me!
          >
          >
          >
          > 1. Is irrigation ok in natural farming: In my view, it should not be! Still,
          >
          > wish to know your opinion. Here is the reason why I ask this question. Our
          >
          > farm gets good rain fall. However that is limited to about 3-4 months. Some
          >
          > crops grow in winter, which do not need water. However we cannot grow
          >
          > vegetables etc in winter and summer. If NF does not approve of irrigation,
          >
          > then how to grow crops without water?
          >
          >
          >
          > 2. How to process food? Harvested crops need processing, for e.g. winnowing
          >
          > of paddy seeds, extracting seeds from harvested matter etc. How does NF
          >
          > handle this? In our farm or in our village, this is done partly manually and
          >
          > partly using machines (which run on diesel). In some cases processing can
          >
          > be very harsh. For e.g. Safflower - this has thorns all over the body. It is
          >
          > harvested very early in the morning - say 4 a.m. when the plant thorns are
          >
          > softer - thus easy to handle. It has to be then thrashed using a tractor or
          >
          > some other means. The seeds then have to be collected from the pile and then
          >
          > cleaned off all soil residue, before extracting oil from them. Safflower
          >
          > have no other use, as far as we know! The oil is really good, so the pain is
          >
          > justified, I guess.
          >
          >
          >
          > I will be glad to know if anyone has experience managing mango trees
          >
          > naturally. I have some specific questions regarding the same. I am also
          >
          > interested in knowing use of equipment/machinery that can run on renewable
          >
          > energy such as solar or wind. Internet tells me that water can be pumped
          >
          > using a solar panels and a slow pump (sans batttery). I am yet to find a
          >
          > company that can provide me that.
          >
          >
          >
          > My village is in the malnad region of north karnataka, India.
          >
          >
          >
          > Regards,
          >
          > Harish Amur
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >


          --
          Boovarahan S
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